Welcome to Haikou, China!
You probably don’t need much reason to want to visit a place known as the “Hawaii of China,” but this city is essentially that. This beautiful coastal city is Haikou, Hainan Province’s capital, located at the southern end of China.
The tropical city has a population that mostly consists of immigrants from other provinces around China, and because of its diverse and warm atmosphere, the city of Haikou is pretty laid-back. A worldwide local knows that big cities are fun and energetic, but sometimes visiting a hot and tropical place with an easy-going vibe is just the thing needed for a great time. Haikou has a lot to offer and here are some of its best.
Worldwide Local Tip: As soon as you leave Haikou Airport, you’ll notice one thing. Traffic in Haikou is known to be nightmarish even by Chinese standards. Cars and motorbikes come in all directions, and everyone acts as though they have the right of way. Even at obvious moments when a car is expected to stop, it might not, so as a traveler exercise extreme caution when crossing the streets.
Head Out for a Climb
They say taking a trip to Haikou is not done until you visit the central mountains. Haikou is known as being a very green space and a visit up to the mountains is the greenest space you’ll see. Bring some good walking shoes and a camera to explore the lush mountainous rainforest and do some leisurely sightseeing. The area is home to hundreds of species of birds and animals, and the highest point is about 450 meters above sea level. Enjoy some beautiful breathtaking views from the pagoda at the top and take in a cool sea breeze.
Worldwide Local Tip: The mountains are sparsely populated but the Li and Miao people have been living there for centuries, some of which still live in mud huts made with bamboo frames. For a cultural experience unlike any other, the Li and Miao Heritage Park offers guests the chance to see their way of life and experience their culture and food firsthand. Be sure to catch the cultural show performed by local villagers.
Visit Qilou Old Street
A worldwide local knows that to get a taste of the local culture you have to go where the locals do. The Qilou Old Street is that place. The area is aptly named because walking through there feels like taking a step back to China’s colonial period, complete with cobblestone streets and buildings that blend European and Asian influence. Just wander around the narrow alleyways and winding streets to watch the locals go about their lives.
Worldwide Local Tip: Qilou Old Street is a great place to spend some time. There are some great shops and restaurants in the area as well as cafes, bookstores, markets, and boutiques. If you’re going to do some shopping while in Haikou, make sure to do it here as you’re bound to find some really cool and unique finds.
Relax on the Beach
It wouldn’t be a tropical destination without a little sun and beach time, would it? There are a few great options for those looking to spend some time lounging in the sand, enjoying the Haikou weather. XiuXiu Beach is popular with locals and visitors alike and is a great spot for those looking to be a little active too. Play some beach volleyball or do a little windsurfing. There’s also the lovely Holiday Beach which is a lot more laid back, and the type of spot to just lay on the sand and watch the palm trees sway in the wind.
Worldwide Local Tip: If you’re looking to indulge a little bit, then the Mission Hills Resort might be for you. Boasting the title of the “world’s largest mineral springs resort” there are over 168 mineral springs and pools. There is also China’s highest rated golf club and an 18-story luxury hotel. Hydrate your skin and feel like royalty.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Haikou is one of those places that has something for everyone. Beaches for those that enjoy the outdoors, delicious night markets for the foodies, old historic streets, and buildings for those that want to see the culture. As a worldwide local, all those things are a recipe for a good time.